Australia’s Strandline Resources, Black Rock Mining and Orecorp on Monday signed framework agreements with the government of Tanzania, a step towards the development of their mineral sands, graphite, and gold projects, Reuters reported.
However, according to that report, details of the agreements were not immediately available.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan, as pledged to grow the mining sector and relations
with mining companies have been improving since a January 2020 deal with Barrick Gold ended a long-running tax dispute.
“Today we are participating as a key shareholder in mining our precious resources which have an important role in the economic development of our country,” Hassan said at a ceremony in Dar Es Salaam.
The president said that the country aims for the mining sector to contribute 10 percent of GDP by 2025. She also said that the current trend is encouraging as mining currently accounts for around 6.7 percent of GDP.
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In addition, Petra Diamonds also signed an agreement granting the government a 16 percent free carried interest in its Tanzanian subsidiary Williamson Diamonds Limited.
The move brings Petra into line with Tanzania’s 2017 mining legislation which sees the government get a 16 percent free carried interest in all major mines in the country. Like many African countries, Tanzania has sought greater state control of the mining sector.
Petra Diamonds and the government of Tanzania will each give up a proportionate amount of their current stakes to grant the 16 percent free carried interest, which is given to the state without any attached financial obligation.
Petra’s stake will thus reduce from 75 percent to 63 percent with Tanzania’s stake increasing from 25 to 37 percent.
Under the agreement, Petra and the government will both help fund the restart of the Williamson mine – Tanzania’s only major diamond mine – which Petra suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and which has recently started ramping up.